Our first introduction to diving in the Seychelles and it wasn't a good one. Overall the employees were nice and the lovely woman who runs the shop is very easy to talk to and set us up for our 2 tank dive. That is where everything took a sharp turn for the worse. During our first dive the DM was grabbing on to sections of coral that are, or were, alive in order to point to things. This is simply not acceptable under any circumstance. A mere glance from a fin or even worse grabbing live coral will severly damage it and most often kill it eventually. There was very little if any current so this practice left both of us shaking our heads underwater. Dive two a short while later was on a reef flanked by sand patches. As we descended it became clear the staff put the anchor on the reef and missed the sand. Now to be fair this could have been a mistake but its a pretty big one. No one mentioned it and there was no recognition from the staff and no one underwater gently tried to remove it. We finished the dive and they hauled the anchor up as per normal with quite a bit of labor as it was firmly wedged in the coral. This is unacceptable.
One of the opening photos on their website shows a diver holding on to the reef and gives the impresion he is holding on to a small bit of coral while giving the 'ok' sign to the camera. Really? Even if he isn't actually holding on to it you simply can not give the impression to your customers, staff, or anyone else that this is an acceptable practice. There are zero excuses for touching, holding, or molesting and eventually killing the very animals we are paying to see and the future of your business...? I accept the anchor may have been a mistake but there was no corrective action taken. I am a DM and my wife an Instructor who has worked in the industry for many years. We were left shocked and silent as we rinsed our gear, paid our money, and walked away in utter disbelief.
Lets be clear. Mistakes are perfectly okay. I make them all the time. Recognize it, correct it, and learn from it. This is a pattern at this operator. It starts with the website, continues with the DM's and everyone else that learns from them, and will continue with any divers they train. This has to stop guys. Coral bleaching, finning, and commercial fishing do enough to diiminish our underwater world. We as divers must not contrubute to the decline. We are tasked with promoting and preserving it. At least we should be.
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